A case study of one article and its dishonest tactics

From left to right: Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity | (AP Photo)

Accusations of bias on the Fox News Channel are invariably met with the same defense: the pundits may be openly conservative, but the “hard news” faction of the organization presents unbiased, down-the-middle journalism.

Writing in The Hill, conservative columnist Kristin Tate in 2017 accused liberals of failing to grasp the difference between “news” and “opinion.” …


His newest segment is abhorrently dishonest

Tucker Carlson, a Fox News personality.

Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes recently aired a segment in which she highlights the experience of trans men and women who “de-transitioned,” meaning they underwent Gender-Affirming Surgery (GAS) and then later reversed those changes.

The segment itself is hardly worth a lengthy discussion here. Others writers with more expertise on this subject, like James Factora of them, have written extensively about its problematic focus on trans individuals who regretted their decision rather than the vast majority who are satisfied with it.

In a moment of intense self-awareness, though, Stahl herself expressed concern that people…


Lessons Learned from Trump’s Second Acquital

Disgraced former President Donald J. Trump boarding Air Force One | Doug Mills/The New York Times

“History will not be kind to Donald Trump.” — Adam Schiff (D-CA), Impeachment Manager, January 2020

It was a crucial part of the prosecution’s closing argument during the first impeachment trial of Donald Trump. It has since become a mantra among those frustrated with Trump’s ability to avoid accountability for his corruption. Republican critics like Nikki Haley, former ambassador to the United Nations under Trump, have used it in the past few weeks. Gallup has even conducted a poll on the matter to see if the public at large agrees with it.

I call it the appeal to historical memory


Why Donald Trump must be removed from office

President Donald Trump at the January 6th “Save America” Rally | Carol Guzy/Zuma Press/Newscom

After a violent, pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol Building in attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election, the House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached Donald Trump for incitement of insurrection. He has now become the only president in United States history to face removal by the Senate for the second time.

With less than one week until President-Elect Joe Biden assumes office, some have questioned whether impeachment was the right decision. …


Insurrection and democratic backsliding

“It is time for war.”

He wasn’t the first, nor would he be the last, to call the angry crowd to arms.

The mood at the “Save America” rally was defiant. Thousands of self-described revolutionaries gathered to hear the president speak about the 2020 election, the alleged fraud that led to his defeat, and about his plan to “save our democracy.”

For the unpatriotic members of Congress determined to certify President-Elect Joe Biden’s victory, Rudy Giuliani had called for “trial by combat.” Don Jr., the president’s son, had warned them that “we’re coming for you.” …


Sowing doubt about the Coronavirus vaccine is dangerous

Fox News host Tucker Carlson | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

I’ve written several times before about Tucker Carlson — in fact, he was the subject of my first piece here on Medium. And in the intervening months, I’ve covered a lot of Tucker’s misadventures, including his lies about immigration, his lies about impeachment, his lies about income inequality, and most recently, his lies about infectious diseases. Seriously, how does he lie like he’s running out of time? The man is nonstop!

But none of the arguments I referenced above, however absurd, compares to the dangerous rhetoric he spewed in the two most recent episodes of his nightly dark-carnival-esque television show…


How Conservative media lie about COVID-19 restrictions

COVID-19 continues to devastate the US | Kenenth Fowler/CNN

Experts have long warned that the COVID-19 pandemic would worsen during the winter months. “Winter is coming,” said Catherine Smallwood of WHO Europe back in September. “As we approach the flu season and the winter months, there are additional factors that will [compound] and add even more to that level of risk.” And unfortunately, they were right: confirmed cases and deaths continue to rise and show no sign of slowing down.

Since the virus is resurgent in many areas of the United States, some states have begun to reimpose restrictions meant to slow the virus’ spread. Officials in California implemented…


Covid-19 is still active and deadly

Illustration courtesy of Lincoln Agnew

On August 26th, the CDC published updated statistics on Covid-19 and its associated morality rate. There was nothing abnormal about this — as the site itself reports, the numbers are updated regularly as new data become available. Any careful observer who has kept up with the reporting on Covid-19 over the past few months is no doubt aware of such changes.

Conservative pundits, to borrow a phrase from their hero Rush Limbaugh, saw the stitches on the fastball that the CDC tried to throw. According to right-wing blog website Townhall,

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website disclosed


How Trump’s attacks on the USPS endanger democracy

A United States Postal Service (USPS) truck | Scott Olson / Getty Images

As the Summer before the November elections winds down, President Trump finds himself in familiar territory: behind. Very behind. The current RealClearPolitics polling average has Biden leading Trump by 6.9%. Biden also has an advantage in several important swing states, including Arizona, Michigan, Florida, and Pennsylvania — a combination which could ultimately decide the race.

It is tempting to dismiss polls as inaccurate or irrelevant, as many of Trump’s supporters do, pointing to the greatly exaggerated and poorly-aged predictions of Trump’s eminent defeat back in 2016. But things are different now. Trump is no longer the outsider looking to take…


Welcome to the ticket, Madam Vice President

Former Vice President Joe Biden and his running-mate, Senator Kamala Harris | Adam Schultz/Shutterstock

When it comes to vice presidential choices, everybody certainly has their opinions and, as the old saying goes, most of them stink. It seems that the criteria people use to assess their personal favorite are often arbitrary. Seldom are “This candidate should pick X as their running mate”-type pieces grounded in rigorous social scientific evidence, and few of their authors show consistency when evaluating potential choices. And far too often, individual foibles serve as a convenient way for people to dismiss a candidate entirely without analyzing them in a holistic way.

Nevertheless, I’ll end this elongated throat-clearing to state that…

Mark Weiss

Book lover, avid reader, and aspiring coffee addict. Confronting the world with evidence and empathy.

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